MANILA, Philippines – National karateka Junna Tsukii stayed on track of her bid for a Tokyo 2020 Olympics berth as she copped a bronze in the 2020 Karate1 Series A tournament on Sunday, January 12, in Santiago, Chile.
Tsukii bested Germany’s Shara Hubrich, 2-1, in the bronze medal match of the female -50kg kumite event to push her record against her foe to 5 wins and 1 loss.
“Germany is currently top 4 in the world. Since I have nothing to lose, I was able to stay aggressive and apply good pressure throughout the fight,” said Tsukii.
Tsukii defeated Kazakhstan’s Moldir Zhangbyrbay in the 2nd round, but lost to Venezuela’s Yorgelis Salazar in the 3rd round last Friday, January 10, which relegated her to the battle for bronze.
According to the Fil-Japanese karateka, she is aiming for the top 1 spot in Asia to earn a maiden berth to the world’s biggest sporting event event that will run from July 24 to August 9 in Tokyo, Japan.
“I am aiming for the continental slot now. Now I am 4th in the Asian continent for all classes. So, I’m definitely getting closer to qualify for the Olympics,” added the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist.
Tsukii earned the support of the Philippine Sports Commission in her bid to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
After winning the SEA Games gold, Tsukii was controversially bullied by national coach Okay Arpa – an issue that she took to social media. (READ: Junna Tsukii ‘bullied’ by coach after clinching SEA Games karate gold) – Rappler.com